The Straits Times
Published on Feb 19, 2013

NHB chief Michael Koh on making heritage hip and taking it to the heartlands


He made heritage hip.

Under outgoing National Heritage Board chief executive Michael Koh's watch, museum visitorship hit new highs, rising to a record of 5.2 million in 2007-2008 through museum and community outreach efforts.

The museums exercised Singapore's "soft power" with greater partnerships within the Asean region, resulting in museum-wide exhibitions and festivals such as the Vietnam Festival in 2008 and the Philippines Fiesta in 2009.

Many made-in-Singapore exhibitions travelled internationally, culminating in the Peranakan Museum's hit outing at Paris's Musee du Quai Branly, the French national museum which exhibits non-Western cultures. It was the first time a Singapore museum had presented a comprehensive exhibition in a major museum in Europe.